“May I help you?” When someone asks that question and means it, it can be the start to a wonderful interaction.
“Thank you, yes you can.” Who doesn’t want to be helped.
Sadly, many people are not as gracious in their responses as the question demands. People don’t understand that service and courtesy are not to be taken for granted. Civility becomes more and more obsolete, it seems. And gratitude sadly out of fashion. (Fear not, we can bring it back!)
But to make your living on the question, if you allow it, can become about the way you face the world and not about the way people respond. And indeed, mostly, the more honestly you say the words, the more genuinely people respond.
To be of service. Each of us should experience making our living in service. It changes you. Hopefully, it makes you embrace gratitude and civility. Hopefully it makes you tip better as you appreciate that, for the most part, the people who ask that question with every interaction are often fiercely underpaid.
But to ask that question and mean it can be exhilarating. As frustrating as it can be, it can be a way of Peace. And all of us, whatever our work, might learn to ask that question and base our interactions on it. How may I help you? I try to ask it of people I meet. I try to ask it of Peace.